All posts by Letty

Circle S CSA delivery Monday, May 20 and MSFM pick up Wednesday, May 22

What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

-Beatles  (and the Rising Fawn Social club plays an excellent version of this song:)

We had a beautiiful weekend of fun and friends.  My parents traveled up from Charlotte and brought their friends Ned and Linda Beth.  Our friends Bruz and Julie, and Mike and Georgia treated us to drinks and home made brick oven pizza.  We hiked, ate, drank and visited.

Then Circle S worked cows this Sunday (vaccinated, ear tags etc.) , and had an amazing crew (well, the usual folks who are willing to come and endure flies, heat, being splashed with cow manure and hope to get a beer and a stale sandwich for their trouble!)  Seriously – what would we do without our friends!  They come work and then make it fun too!  Thank you Thank you!!

Farm News:  Worked cows today.  Every cow got vaccinated with pinkeye vaccination – which hopefully will ward off the condition.  It is a terrible thing to have your herd break out with pinkeye.  We have had several cows through the years go completely blind.  Usually temporary, but getting them to a safe place can be challenging.   However, the vaccine has helped tremendously the last few years.

What’s in the bucket: Arugula,  mixed mustard greens, turnip greens, spring onions, green garlic, cilantro, rosemary.

Following – the Washington Post recipe for Mustard Greens with rice and Cilantro.  I think spring onions will be a wonderful substitute for the leeks.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, white and light-green parts only, rinsed well then chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup (uncooked) white rice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 or 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth (may substitute chicken broth or water)
  • About 1 pound mustard greens, washed but not dried then chopped (about 8 cups; the liquid clinging to the greens helps to keep the mixture moist)
  • Leaves from 1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Yogurt or lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and cook for 4 minutes. Add the rice, paprika, garlic and cumin; stir to coat evenly. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the mustard greens and cilantro. The greens may have to be added in batches to fit in the pot; stir with every addition. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the greens are tender, adding more liquid if the mixture begins to stick or seems dry.

Taste the greens, checking for tenderness; if they are not to your liking, cook for 10 minutes. Add the salt; season with pepper to taste.

To serve, top with plain yogurt or a squeeze of fresh lemon, if desired.

Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, May 13 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, May 15, 2019

“My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.”
Jodi Picoult

This mother’s day I am thinking of my mother.  A mother of 52 years.  And what a beautiful, amazing person she is.    I am  also thinking of Stevie – our friend and CSA member.  It is her very first Mother’s day.  Mother of darling Henry who I still can’t wait to meet.

And – I may seem to digress, but I’m thinking of all the mothers on this farm.  67 to be exact – cows with calves.  And how lucky I am each year in October to watch the natural pulse of motherhood unfold as our cows birth, nurture and care for their calves.

It is a wonderful week to get started with our CSA.  We will be going green, bringing all kinds of delicious, nutrient dense greens to your table!!

Farm News:  Plenty of rain this spring.  Hard to get in the fields to plant for the second year in a row, not that I’m complaining.  The cows have plenty of nutritious greens to eat themselves because of the rain – and the farm is beautiful and green.

What’s in the bucket?  Beet greens, turnip greens, red Russian kale, mature arugula, oversized radishes, spring onions and oregano.

If you are not a fan of bitter greens (turnip greens) parboil them first.  Bring them to a boil in plenty of water.  Cook 5-10 minutes.  When you begin to smell them – a bitter greens smell, let them boil a minute longer.  Then drain them – rinse in cool water.  I like to chop them either before I parboil them – or after I rinse them.     Add a little vegetable broth and simmer until tender.

I made some arugula pesto with my mature arugula last week.  It turned out delish.  Here’s how…

2 cups packed arugula leaves

4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1 cup roasted salted cashews

olive oil to consistency

Put first four ingredients into food processor.  Put on the lid and pulse adding olive oil until it comes together as a thick paste.

Great on pasta or pizza.   You can freeze the remaining in ice cube trays for later.

Happy Eating, Happy Mother’s day, and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.

 

Circle S 2019 CSA celebrates 15 years. Don’t miss your chance to sign up!



“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” —T.S. Eliot

I went to buy some garden supplies a few years ago.  The store owner and I started a conversation and he asked me what I was doing with all the tools etc I was purchasing.  I told him that I ran a small farm and CSA.  He asked me “how long have you been doing that?”  and I replied – “gosh – I started in 2004”.  He said – “wow you are a pioneer.  I didn’t know CSA’s had been around that long.”

In some ways it is hard to believe it has been that long.  In other ways, it seems longer.  It sort of made me feel old when he said that….PIONEER.

Every season is a beginning, and every year is so different.  And the soil awaits another seed.  Which brings me to my purpose.  My CSA 2019 sign-up is updated online.  This year will be short and sweet, with lots of new surprises (I hope).

Thank you for allowing me to grow healthy food for your family!

Letty

 

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, Oct. 8 (Columbus Day) and MSFM pick up Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Farm News:  Well, we are finally here.  The last week of CSA for 2018.  Our cows start calving this week, so it’s just a shift of attention from garden to animals.  Curtis is baling the last of our hay as I write.  We are hoping for 70 calves this year.  It will be a busy fall:)

I want to thank all of you for your participation in our CSA this year.  Every year I am amazed at how graciously you all accept the successes and failures of the season.  It is a wonderful experience to have such a lovely and loyal group of people supporting our farm!

What’s in the bucket:  candy roaster squash, kale, daikon radish, broccoli or cabbage, white sweet potatoes, green roma tomatoes, jalapeno, parsley.

As most of you know, I love spicy food.  The sauce to these green tomatoes adds some kick – but well worth it.  For a milder sauce, seed the jalapeno.

Grilled Green Tomatoes 
Author: Carolyng Gomes
Recipe Type: Side
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet peppers, yellow
  • 3 green tomatoes
  • ¼ jalapeño
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill pan on medium heat.
  2. Cut off tops of yellow peppers, quarter and add to grill pan. Cook until charred and softened. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Slice tomatoes ¼ inch thick.
  4. Brush one side of slices with oil and lay on grill pan, oiled side down. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
  5. Brush tops of tomatoes with remaining oil and flip.
  6. In a food processor add peppers, jalapeño and parsley. Blend until a sauce forms.
  7. Add salt and pepper to grilled tomatoes. Top with Spicy Yellow Pepper Sauce or serve on the side for dipping.

Happy Eating, Happy fall, and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.

 

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, Oct 1 and MSFM pick up Wednesday, Oct 3, 2018

“Although my body was useless, out of what felt like desperation, I acted out a hateful, scathing punishment. There were days when each time I lowered the hoe, I would groan, “Die! Just die and end it! Die! Die and end it all!” I planted 600 sweet potato vines.”
Osamu Dazai
This is how I feel at the end of the season.  Instead of wishing the garden to die, I can’t wait to let the cows in the garden.  It is so much fun to watch them eat broccoli and kale and dig the leftover turnips and sweet potatoes up and eat them.  When they are finished,  it looks like it’s ready to be planted again.  And then I will seed rye grass for them to eat in spring.

Farm News:  Digging sweet potatoes this week!  They have not loved all the rain early in the year – and I was not able to get them all out before the 11 inches of rain that fell last week.  Some of them are starting to rot.  Hopefully they will dry and cure.    Only two weeks of CSA left!

What’s in the bucket:  Broccoli florets, cabbage, head lettuce, collard, butternut, sweet potato, easter egg radish, daikon or kohlrabi.

What’s at market:  Daikon, easter egg radish, sweet potato, kale, collard, cabbage, broccoli florets, butternut, candy roaster squash, cheese pumpkins.

This is a great recipe for winter squash soup.  I would skip the bread bowl and just serve with crusty toasted sourdough – but that’s just me.
Michael Symon’s Curried Winter Squash Soup
Olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
1 butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
salt and pepper
1 small yellow onion diced
1 2inch piece of ginger
2 t Curry powder or curry paste

1 15- ounce can Coconut Milk

1 cup Water

Cilantro Leaves (to garnish) Lime Wedges (to garnish)

4 Sourdough Boules (hollowed out; the inside bread reserved) Greek Yogurt (to garnish)
Toasted Butternut Squash Seeds (to garnish)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil and a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, onion, a generous pinch of salt, and sauté until softened.

Add the ginger and the curry powder or paste, and cook until very fragrant, about a minute. Add the coconut milk and water, and bring to a simmer. (Boiling will cause the coconut milk to break.) Cook for 15 minutes to allow flavors to come together.

Meanwhile, brush the inside of the sourdough boules with olive oil, and bake for 10 minutes, to lightly toast interior of boule.

Heat a tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan, and add the reserved interior bread and season with salt. Once crispy, drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until completely smooth. Check seasonings, adjusting with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Ladle the soup into the sourdough bread bowls. Garnish with toasted croutons, cilantro, lime wedges, yogurt, and toasted seeds.

Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from our farm!!

Letty

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, September 24 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, September 26, 2018

“No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.”
Elbert Hubbard

Curtis and I had a great time in Tryon, NC at the World Equestrian Games.  It was so good to get away, and be joined by family and friends for the event.  Very exciting because the US team won their first team title in the jumping, which we watched.  And of course, the horses were beautiful…all at the top of their game.

Back to work…..

Farm News:  Jennifer and Josh cared for our dogs, horses, cows, chickens, chicks, farm, garden etc.  They did such an amazing job, we are ready to go on vacation again (after we rest up of course).  All the animals were so happy and well cared for when we got home:)

We have three more weeks of CSA and I’m hoping for rain and cooler weather to finish the season.

What’s in the Bucket:  Kale, red and green okra, broccoli, heirloom sweet potato, cranberry beans (pictured above….yes you must shell them). green beans, daikon radish.

Following a recipe from Genius Recipes that I love for kale salad.  You can use one of your winter squash you have set aside – or use sweet potatoes instead.   They may even roast faster….All good!

Author Notes: This salad is ideal for making ahead for company (or tomorrow’s lunch) and has been a mainstay on the menu at Northern Spy Food Co. in Manhattan’s East Villag (…more)Genius Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 40 min

  • 1/2cup cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1bunch kale (preferably lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/4cup almonds, cut roughly in half
  • 1/4cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot clothbound cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar — if you can’t find aged cheddar, use Parmesan)
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 425° F. Toss squash cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved pecorino cheese, if desired, and serve

Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm and Happy Eating!

Letty

 

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, September 10 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Cow in Apple Time
Something inspires the only cow of late
To make no more of a wall than an open gate,
And think no more of wall-builders than fools.
Her face is flecked with pomace and she drools
A cider syrup. Having tasted fruit,
She scorns a pasture withering to the root.
She runs from tree to tree where lie and sweeten
The windfalls spiked with stubble and worm-eaten.
She leaves them bitten when she has to fly.
She bellows on a knoll against the sky.
Her udder shrivels and the milk goes dry.
Robert Frost
I love this poem – for some reason.  Perhaps because I have had the cow that ended up in the apple orchard eating windfalls.  Or the herd of cows end up in my garden.  In the fall, when the grass starts to slow down and it is dry – the lush garden is very tempting.  To deer, and cows etc…
It’s finally fall.  I know it not because of the weather, but because of what is on my plate.  Tonight…turnip greens, October beans, late okra, sweet potato..
I am sending two recipe links that one of our members shared.  We were commiserating our lack of love for cantaloupe.  Pasta with cantaloupe?  Sounds like a good solution to me.  Also a great recipe for Liberian greens which may become a staple in your kitchen.
Farm News:  22 chicks roaming the farm with their foster mother.  Well – she hatched 6 chicks and I ordered 16, so now she is the mother of 22.  A big job for a hen.  Fingers crossed the hawks won’t get them.
What’s in the bucket:  October beans, turnip greens, cantaloupe, cilantro, green beans and basil.
What’s at market:  October beans, turnip greens, daikon radish, cilantro, green beans, basil, candy roaster and butternut squash, gomphrena and zinnia bouquets.
Happy eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!

Circle S Farm delivery Monday (Labor Day), September 3 and Wednesday September 5, 2018

“Men and melons are hard to know.”  -Benjamin Franklin

I have the hardest time growing and knowing melons.  Every year I try – if I succeed the raccoons and coyotes eat them.  No one eating my melons this year – so prospects are grim.  I have cut a few of them – and it’s 50/50 chance you will get an edible one.  Good news is – if you have a healthy bunch of crows around – they will love to eat a cut melon.

FYI I had some good comments about the sweet potato green recipe from last week, so, if you haven’t tried it….be brave:)

What’s in the  Bucket:?  MELONS!!, sweet potato greens, turnip greens, red and green tomatoes, cilantro, winter squash, hot peppers, braising arugula.

What’s at Market:  sweet potato greens, turnip greens, basil, cilantro, arugula.  Circle S Beef:  SOLD OUT FOR 2018.

I often have a hard time deciding what to do with arugula once it grows from baby to mature.  It’s too big and a little too tough to use in a salad.  But it’s spicy flavor is just right for a pasta sauce or in pesto.  In fact – I like arugula pesto better than basil pesto.

Following is a recipe for an arugula cream sauce. Here, it is served with pasta.   But it also works well served over chicken or fish.  If you can’t find fresh corn – add another vegetable, or some shrimp to the dish.

Directions

  1. In large pot cook gnocchi or Penne according to package directions, adding corn the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Transfer ears of corn (if using) to cutting board. Drain gnocchi and corn kernels (if using), reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Do not rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, for cream sauce, in medium saucepan combine half-and-half, cream cheese, salt, garlic powder, dried herb, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in reserved pasta water.
  3. Return cooked pasta to pot. Cut corn from cob and add to pasta. Pour cream sauce over pasta; heat through, if necessary. Stir in arugula. Serve in bowls. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, dried herb, and crushed red pepper.

Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.

 

 

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, August 27 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 29

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”  Sam Keen

Employee of the Month

This is Isabelle.  Every Wednesday, Jennifer and Isa show up for work together.  Isa is always excited about her work and her exuberant behavior is contagious.  She bustles about in the garden with us and greets all the animals with a grin (especially the cats).  So, I am giving Isa (and Jennifer) Employee of the month.  (Doesn’t matter that they are my only employees, they would get it anyway!)

However – The hot humid days find Isa laying like she is here – in the shade by mid-day.  I have to say, I feel like lounging in the shade too.  I guess that’s why they call it the dog days of summer.  And I feel exceptionally lazy this year.

What’s in the Bucket?   Lots of either/or this week as I have a little bit of this and a little bit of that in the garden.  Arugula or lettuce mix, okra or summer squash, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, daikon radish greens, spaghetti or butternut squash, basil, sweet potato greens.

What’s at market?  arugula, lettuce mix, basil, tomato, daikon radish greens, winter squash, sweet potato greens.  Here is a recipe for Sweet potato greens from Coon Rock Farm.  I think it might go wonderfully with roasted winter squash (or that North Georgia Candy Roaster if you are still hanging on to it)

Sweet and savory sweet potato leaves

  • 8 cups de-stemmed, torn and rinsed sweet potato leaves
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 min. Stir in the mustard, sugar, vinegar, and chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sweet potato leaves, cover and cook 5 min until wilted. Stir in the cranberries and continue boiling, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by about half, and the cranberries have softened, about 15 min. Season to taste with pepper. Sprinkle with pecans before serving.

Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.

 

Circle S Farm CSA Delivery Monday, August 20 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 22, 2018

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
― Sylvia PlathHard to believe it is end of August.   Fall is a lovely time of year for a farmer.  The season’s harvest coming to an end.  Because we worry, we worry.  The cows will get in the garden.  The deer will get in the garden.  The hail will ruin the garden.  The rain will ruin the garden.  All that hard work…..

Last night I was out harvesting some fall squash.  Curtis wasn’t feeling well – so I was trying to stay out of the house.  Quit rummaging around while he was trying to rest.  So it was late – duskish, and I was piddling around.  Putting candy roasters in my wheelbarrow and daydreaming.

There are loads of fall geese in our fields.  I heard a commotion and large splash as all of them crashed into the water.  When I looked up to watch…a deer was headed right for me.  She was spooked and panting as she came up the hill.  She did not see me.  She stumbled through two of our hot wires and all of a sudden she was in the garden with me – maybe 10 feet away.  She had this look on her face like –WOW, I’ve stumbled into Eden.  And still,  she did not see me.

We had a moment of fellowship together.  And then I moved before she got comfortable in my Eden.  I thought she would go back the way she came,  she chose the 6 strand high tensile wire. She almost made it but snagged the top wire with her feet…because she was weary.   It somersaulted her and she landed with a thud on her back and was still for a minute.  I held my breath.

Then she sprung up and headed off towards the turtle pond and I yelled “and don’t come back”.  But what I really meant was, just wait until my season is over.  Or, come and eat just a little.

What’s in the bucket:  Candy roaster squash, arugula, tomatoes, butternut squash, okra, cucumbers, hot peppers, bell peppers, a few other things that are just beginning or just ending….perhaps, as we are in between seasons.

What’s at market:  North Georgia Candy roaster squash, butternut squash, arugula, summer squash, lettuce mix, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, zinnia’s and basil.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef, roasts.

Here is a recipe I found online for winter squash pie.  Much like pumpkin pie.  If you aren’t ready for fall yet….good news.  This squash should keep for a month or two.  Just keep it cool and dry.  It is also good in soups or roasted in the oven.

Winter Squash Pie

Hands on: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 1/2 hours

Serves: 12

This is Mecca Lowe’s recipe for North Georgia Candy Roaster pie. You can make this pie with any winter squash you have on hand, but if your squash is not as sweet as the North Georgia Candy Roaster, you may need to increase the sugar.

1 1/2 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch chunks

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup skim milk

2 eggs

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 crust for 9-inch pie

Whipped cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large saucepan, arrange squash chunks and cover with water. Boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and put squash in bowl of a food processor. Add sugar and milk and pulse to puree squash. Add eggs, butter, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger and process until smooth.

Pour squash filling into pie crust and bake 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean. Cool pie on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream if desired.

Per serving: 148 calories (percent of calories from fat, 36), 3 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 38 milligrams cholesterol, 115 milligrams sodium.

Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from our farm.!!